Stephen Baker

The Boost
Home - Viewing one post

In Africa

February 11, 2013General

tiger

I'm in South Africa, on a short trip I decided to take, literally, from one day to the next. We went to Kruger Park yesterday and this morning, and this leopard is the first animal we saw.  We didn't see another cat the whole time, in part because the summer grass, as you can see, is high. 

It occurred to me as I looked at this picture that the pattern recognition required to perceive a the head of leopard behind that grass comes naturally to humans--and would be exceedingly hard for computers. Spotting potential predators hiding in the grass was vital for our ancestors. And even if we spend 99.9% of our days in cities or suburbs, that uncanny ability has been handed down to us.

I should note that a tour guide spotted this animal. We stopped when we saw his halted bus, and he pointed it out to us. So despite our ability to see a leopard through the grass, we probably wouldn't have seen this one on our own. When it comes to some of these survival skills, we're a little rusty.


add comment share:






©2014 Stephen Baker Media, All rights reserved.     Site by Infinet Design







Kirkus Reviews - https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/stephen-baker/the-boost/

LibraryJournal - Library Journal

Booklist Reviews - David Pitt

Locus - Paul di Filippo

read more reviews



The Boost: an excerpt
- April 15, 2014


My horrible Superbowl weekend, in perspective
- February 3, 2014


My coming novel: Boosting human cognition
- May 30, 2013


Why Nate Silver is never wrong
- November 8, 2012


The psychology behind bankers' hatred for Obama
- September 10, 2012


"Corporations are People": an op-ed
- August 16, 2011


Wall Street Journal excerpt: Final Jeopardy
- February 4, 2011


Why IBM's Watson is Smarter than Google
- January 9, 2011


Rethinking books
- October 3, 2010


The coming privacy boom
- August 17, 2010


The appeal of virtual
- May 18, 2010


My next book: IBM's Jeopardy mission
- March 22, 2010